WATER and sewerage bills across Huntingdonshire will be going up by around 5.4 peer cent from April, the regulator Ofwat announced today (Tuesday).

Both Cambridge Water, which supplies the St Ives and Ramsey area with water, and Anglian Water, which provides water to the rest of the district and sewerage services to the whole of Huntingdonshire, said average bills were expected to rise by that percentage.

Anglian Water said the extra cash generated would fund a £530million investment programme during the coming year at a cost of £22 on the average household's £400-a-year bill.

"While any increase in bills is unwelcome, this rise equates to less than 50p a week. Just a little more than £1 a day pays for all the treated water customers need as well as the removal of wastewater and its safe return to the environment," a spokesman said.

Cambridge Water said its average (water only) bill would rise by £6.60 to £127 a year, though Anglian Water's sewerage charge - an average of £234 across its much wider area - will be added to that.

Cambridge Water managing director Stephen Kay said: "This means our customers will continue to receive high quality water for less than 35p a day.

"When you consider the average household uses around 400 litres of water each day for bathing, washing clothes, cleaning, drinking and garden watering, this represents exceptional value for money."

The additional investment gained from the price increases would help the company to meet the demands of a challenging environmental climate, he added.

Both companies urged consumers with unmetered supplies to save money by having water meters fitted.